How to Design and Prepare Vinyl Cut Jobs in Flexi

How to Design and Prepare Vinyl Cut Jobs in Flexi

“Cutting Vinyl with Flexi” Let’s work a little bit with vinyl
cutting options. Those are options used with
vector artwork like you see here, to send to a vinyl cutter. One of the
first things you might want to do after you design your logo or your graphic, is go over to the
left and select Wireframe to make sure there are no overlapping sections. You can see how
the letters S and C are overlapped. We’ll grab those, right-click on top of one of the lines and weld them together so that they don’t cut that overlap in there. Make sure
that all your overlaps are welded together. That’s now ready for cutting. We’re going to go up here to the top where the Cut/Plot menu is and click on Cut/Plot. It’s going to ask you where your cutter is. “On this local computer…” that’s when it’s attached
to the computer you’re using for your design. “On a network” or “On an Internet address,” normally it’s connected to the computer that you’re using for
the designs. We’ll click OK on that. I’m going to expand this and make it larger so we can
see it better. It’s transferred that image to the Cut/Plot menu, and this is showing you the width of the material that’s in your cutter and then where this is going to cut. This is an exact representation of what’s going to happen
on your vinyl cutter. Normally it will show up lengthwise because normally lettering is longer than it is wide. In this case, we’re using 54-inch media. I’m going to rotate this and I think that’ll
fit on there. It was only 36 inches wide to begin with.
You can pick this up and move it. Wherever you place it on here, that’s
where it’s going to cut on that vinyl. Generally speaking, the default setting right there is where it needs to go. There are four tabs across the top here.
You’ve got a “General” tab. You’ve got a “Panel” tab, “Options,” and
“Advanced” tab. One of the things you might want to do on a vinyl cutter is to use the small icon here called “Poll Size.” When you
click on that, and I apologize I don’t have a
cutter connected right now, but when you click on that, it will send a signal to your cutter. If your cutter is capable and if the communications is enabled, it will then respond with a “user-defined.” Then this number will change to the actual width that’s available to you, whatever width that is. And that’s determined by where the pinch rollers are on the vinyl. It’s a good thing to do that before
you cut to make sure that you have plenty of width of vinyl for your cutting. Now if that’s
grayed out or if it doesn’t work, it’s generally not because of the program. It’s
because of the communication, whether it’s
on a comport or or a USB, or on the network, or whatever
the case may be. It just doesn’t allow two-way communication in this case. You also have “Send Now” in Send Mode” option. This means as soon as you hit the Send button down here, it’s going to send that file. But on the bottom where it’s “Send,” that’s going to send it to the cutter immediately. If you put it “On Hold,” then it will hold in the cut queue. That’s what I’m going to do because I don’t have a cutter connected. I want you to see it in Production Manager when it shows up there. I want you to see what it looks like. “Position” is interactive. You click that and whenever you move
this, the knife blade will follow this bottom right-hand
corner down here. It shows you where it’s going to cut on the vinyl,
but interactively — live. This option is called “Show me” which shows you how the vinyl cutter runs around the box on the outside, to show you how much vinyl needs to be used for cutting that graphic. This is the size of the graphic. You can fit it to the media if you wish
to. Remember that when you change that, you’ll need to change this back to
100% to make it equal to the original size. You can do multiple copies. You can put
space between those copies. Down here you could actually change the orientation if you think that’s a better a way to cut this without using as much
vinyl. You can do a mirror. This is where you cut the graphic out and you’re going to put it on the inside of a window so that people can read it from the outside, but you don’t want the vinyl on the outside. You could do it that way if you want. Once you’ve got that set up, then you’ll want to go to the next tab. This is the “Panel” tab. The Panel tab: whatever’s in this black box is what’s going to get cut. Generally speaking, if this is a really
big image, it might divide into panels. If it was 4, 5, or 6 feet wide and you couldn’t cut it all in one piece, Flexi will panel it. The dotted lines are your overlap. All that is controlled here in this menu. When you right-click on a panel, that
turns it off so you could cut this one, re-adjust your cutter if you want to, and
then turn that off and cut the next panel. Not a bad practice. Let’s reset our panels, by the way. Click right here to reset the panel. By the way, if you if you are weeding and you pull up some letters in the word “bull” up here, just shrink your panel down to that little piece. Something like that. And then it’s going to cut just those letters. Let me go back to the main screen. You’ll see it cuts just those
letters. The panel can be used to adjust to
cut just a part of the graphic if you need to. Don’t forget, right here you can reset that. The third tab shows options for this graphic. In this case, it’s a weed border. I’m going to turn that on and it’s going to cut the graphic, and it’s going to cut that red box around
there. This is the amount of space that’s going to go around it, and that’s called a weed border for weeding. Horizontal weed lines — this is going to cut a line wherever it can between lines
of text to make it easier to weed. You can also do horizontal or vertical
weed lines. In this case there is no place to put those lines without cutting through a letter. Guess what else we can do? We can do vertical split lines. In this case, it’ll cut that line right up to the top of the “N,” then start at the bottom of the “N” and go
to the top of the horns, then bottom of the horns down. It makes it a little easier to weed this in sections. If you don’t like the placement of
that, you can move it to whatever location you need to. All these are
customizable, so you can place them wherever you want to. Wherever you think is the best place to put this. Maybe something like that. You
can also right-click on these and delete them, or right-click in here and add your own
lines. If you think you need a little room between the horns there to weed out before you get to the top, you can do that. Again, just right-click to delete or right-click to add your own custom lines. Again, these
are all repositionable. You can move these. That one is definitely okay because that’s right in between the two lines.This one you could place wherever you need to, to
get the most use out of this graphic. Sometimes you just need to move them around to get to the right spot. We can turn those on or off as needed.
The last tab is the Advanced tab. This one you have
to be very careful about. I would be very careful about changing anything in here. There’s an “auto weld.” For instance, if had we not welded the “S” and the “C,” it would have taken that and done it for
us. I like to do that on the design side rather than the cut side because it gives me more verification that it was done correctly.
I would turn on “Overcut,” and you could probably leave it in this setting. Here’s how Overcut works: The knife blade goes in say at the top of the “O” here. It cuts all the way around. Normally it would go to the exact spot where it went in and lift up and come out and go to the next letter, but that can sometimes leave behind a
little bit of a nick or a nib or a tab. When you’re weeding, you have to keep pulling on those and you can actually hear them snapping. If you do the “Overcut,” the knife goes into the vinyl, it cuts all the way around to the original location, and then just past that in the same
path, by whatever amount you have in here. So
that’s very very good. Now, a lot of these other
features in this section here are covered in detail in
the training DVD. But this is sort of a
general overview. I’m going to hit “Send” on that and it’s going to go to the hold list. Now I’m going to hit “Done.” I’m also going to change this just a bit. I’m going to take the “Lone Star Cafe” here and change that to red. And we’re going to do more than one color. Now when you go to your cut routine — and it says OK on that — it’s dividing it into the colors. This is the black part of the vinyl, and this is the red vinyl that you cut. The black will cut, then the red will cut, and
then you put those two pieces together. I would probably cut this with the weed border, and this one, but we have to position those together. It would be a good idea to have some registration marks in here to help you out. What I typically do is add them from the shapes list — there’s a registration
mark right here if you wish to cut that. You could put one here, another one up here, perhaps, and another over here. Put as many as you want. It makes no
difference. You can resize those as much as you want. When you click your graphic over here to cut, it will not only cut the black, but it cuts those registration marks. It
does the same thing for the red. Then you cut your black, and weed around that registration mark. Then cut your red and weed around that
registration mark. Then you line up those registration marks and that way
your two colors will go in the appropriate place on your graphic. If you need registration marks, they’re built right into Flexi. Again, you find them over here in the Shapes menu. It’s that last icon. These can all be resized to whatever size you think is appropriate. Just click on here and resize it. Make it easy to see so that you have plenty of room here to
to line things up. That’s a great way to do multi colors
as well. I’ll send the black. Again I’m going to put it on hold. I’ll go to my red and send that. I’m done so let’s go over
and take a look at Production Manager. Now here’s my Production Manager. You can see in my hold queue that I have three jobs. I have my bull job. I have my other two colors over here.
I’m going to click it. Here’s all the information. When I double click that, it shows me a preview of that graphic right here. I can make some further adjustments
if I need to, but that’s a great thing to have. Here’s my other job. Remember that was just black with the registration mark. Here’s the white with the registration mark. At this point, since I’m in the actual queue, if I want to send that job, I could pick the job I want to cut, go up here to the “Send” button and send it. I can also right-click on it and send it from here. There are a lot of options for cutting. You can see the preview here. Don’t worry about how jagged that looks. It’s just a preview to give you an idea of what’s about to be cut on that graphic. It gives you a preview of what those look like. When you’re cutting, the basic steps
are: You design your graphic. You
go to your cutter up here. You’re going to choose your vinyl size. Make sure you have plenty of vinyl in there. Make sure this is 100%. After each job, it goes back to the default, so make sure you change that to 100% if you want it to be the full size. Decide whether you need to mirror it or not. I would go to the next tab, Options, and turn on these horizontal or
vertical weed lines you can see. I get my vertical lines. I do those two things, and then I make sure that Overcut is on to make sure that it cuts easier. Then I just hit “Send.” Once I hit “Send,” it’ll either start cutting immediately if it was set to “Send Now,” but in this case I put it “On hold” just to make sure I have everything lined up correctly. Now I’m ready to send that job. I hope you enjoyed this. It’s a very easy process to cut with Flexi. You need to practice that, so get some vinyl and practice and you’ll be an expert in no time.

20 thoughts on “How to Design and Prepare Vinyl Cut Jobs in Flexi

  1. Hello guys I am trying to find out why it says that the CUTTER POLL is not to SIZE can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

  2. great tutorial I have that same software, I learned a lot from this video. Anyone new to vinyl to make decals or tshirts I would recommend this machine to start, great price on them also. you can check out some shirts I made with my cutter on instagram @garrisonshirts

  3. Great video , my question how do you cut images that bring in from file (open), it will not show up when send to cut/Plot. my question how do i get this image to show up to cut , cutter CE6000-60 if there an video please send me to it. Thanks

  4. what is the type and version of your FLEXI program? I got my flexi-starter with cutter and see that is almost nothing and I have to buy another version, thank you.

  5. Hi. Anyone know why my "Pull size" button is not selectable ? I have a GCC plotter. Another question: how to cut different pressure for each color ? is it possible ? thanks

  6. Need help every time I got I have too start all over settings and all plus when I send the image to cut it says holding then can not open any tip is good thanks

  7. I have just started using flexi, i bought it already installed on a computer, the guy has a really weird setup where as there is no options, no file or anytging at the top of the screen. Any ideas how to just bring it back to default without uninstalling? Thanks in advance.

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